My wife Kristen shared a story about being a young girl, maybe 8 years old, and at the grocery store with her mother. While in the checkout line, she spotted some lifesavers that she desperately wanted. She asked if she could have them and got a resounding “No” for an answer. Bummed and saddened by her mom’s answer, she decided to put the lifesavers in her coat pocket when no one was looking – or so she thought. When they arrived home Kristen quickly bolted upstairs to her room to eat the prized possession. But her mother had seen the act of stealing by her young daughter. Mom quickly yelled up to Kristen to bring her coat down because she was going to wash it. Kristen stayed there, frozen, not sure what to do. Her little mind spun with wonder and fear; mom had caught her red handed. Kristen was then driven back to the store where she confessed what she had done, and apologized to the store manager. How embarrassing for a young girl – but a lesson in life that she’ll never forget.
This story may be familiar to you, either as a child or if you have children. We all know that stealing is wrong and against the law. We know we cannot take something that belongs to someone else. But what I want to talk about is the stealing of time. Do you steal time from those in your life? When you’re with your children, are you on your phone checking email or Facebook when you should be playing catch? When you and your spouse are on a date are you distracted by the game on TV, not giving the attention they rightly deserve? When you’re at work do you give your best effort and maximize your time for the wage you’re given or do you sneak a few games in on the computer?
I want to challenge you to no longer steal time away from your children, your spouse, your job, or anything else. Give 100% attention to where it belongs – make sure your ‘head’ is where your ‘feet’ are. More importantly, I challenge you to give God your time – the time He so rightly deserves – either in reading his word or in prayer. Don’t steal time from your creator and Lord. Paul writes about prayer, being a good worker and knowing the word in the following verses:
Romans 1:9 – God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, help us to be men and women of integrity in all areas of our life. Help us to not ‘steal’ time, but rather invest in our families, our work, and more importantly in You. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”